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Instagram Takeover Family Friendly HQ

I did a takeover for the Family Friendly HQ Instagram last weekend. On the same day I was interviewed for the podcast 'Mother Of Pod'. So it was a super busy day and I spent a lot of it talking about and reflecting on my 10 year battle with an Eating Disorder. I thought I'd repost them here for those who aren't on Instagram.

The thing is, life has been so centred around being a Mama since Ava came along, that I haven't had a lot of time to sit back and reflect on how far I've come. Looking back at where I was only 6 years ago, I never would have guessed I'd be here today.

From the age of 16 to 26 I suffered from Bulimia and Anorexia. In that decade, I never fully admitted there was a problem and I never got professional help. I also went through periods of recovery, where I would convince myself that the problem was gone. But of course it wasn't. Finally, at the age of 25/26, I realised that if I didn't seek help, I would eventually kill myself. I knew that I would never be able to become a Mother if I didn't recover. There was no way I was going to bring a child into that situation.

Below is the text from my takeover.


Ranae x

First Post:

Good morning everyone! My name is Ranae from @ranaevonmeding and I’m taking over Family Friendly HQ for the day.

A bit about me:

I’m a 30 and live in Dublin with my wife and daughter. I originally trained as an actress and singer which is where I met my wife 10 years ago. We have a 2 year old daughter Ava who was conceived through Reciprocal IVF. For those of you who don’t know what this is, we used Audrey’s eggs and I carried the baby. It’s not legal in Ireland (don’t get me started, that’s a whole other post) so we had to go abroad. There was zero information for us when we started looking into doing this back in 2015. That’s what got me started writing and blogging about it. I feel it’s so important to share our story so that others can access this information and feel slightly less alone in their own fertility journeys. We decided to try for a second baby earlier this year and did a blog in partnership with @ferticentroportugal in Portugal and chronicled our journey as ‘Shared Motherhood’, which is another name for Reciprocal IVF. It worked first time, and I’m currently 21 weeks along with our second daughter.

More about me:

I’m a recovered Bulimic/Anorexic. I suffered for over 10 years before getting help. It was a very long road and I’ve been very open about it. Again, I feel that if someone can read my story and find even the smallest measure of hope, comfort or insight, then it’s worth telling. More about that in another post.

And just a bit more: 

I’m totally obsessed with Essential Oils. I got really into natural health after Ava was born. Oh did I forget to mention that I’m a type 1 diabetic! Well that little nugget was dropped on me less than 4 years ago, once I’d recovered from my ED. Bit ironic really! Anyway, it means that I’m quite susceptible to infection/being run down. After Ava was born I was at an all time low. Antibiotic after antibiotic. Anyway. A friend introduced me to dōTERRA Essential Oils and after about 4 months of using them my whole outlook on health had changed. Now, I’m not a total hippy, but these days I’ll look for a natural solution before I reach for OTC meds.  And 95% of the time it works.

Chat more later,

Ranae x

Second Post:

Ava was born in 2016 and our lives changed forever. It was a long journey from the time we decided to have kids to when she actually arrived. As I said before, Reciprocal IVF is not currently legal in Ireland. Which is absolutely mad, because egg donation is legal for heterosexual couples. Plus it’s really the same thing as using your husbands sperm. Genetic material, shared between two consenting adults. Two people in a committed relationship. Anyway, we figured this was really the way we wanted to go, even if it meant being forced to seek treatment abroad. It meant that biologically our child would be Audrey’s, but I would carry her, so her blood would be mine. A really beautiful thing and seemed like the perfect option for us.

We went to Spain in 2015 and went through the whole Reciprocal IVF process. It’s the same as traditional IVF except that the treatment was split between the two of us. She did the egg collection and I did the embryo transfer. I had an early miscarriage on the first go but we did another transfer 2 months later which was a success!

The pregnancy was pretty tough. At that stage I’d only been diagnosed as Type 1 diabetic for 2 years and was still getting a handle on things. My first trimester was plagued by daily hypos (low blood sugar) and I was usually in the hospital clinic every 2-3 weeks. I wish I knew then what I know now about my health and about pregnancy. Because this 2nd pregnancy is TOTALLY different and I feel very in control and empowered. But sure isn’t that how we all learn?

Not only is Reciprocal IVF still not legal, at this point in time Audrey has zero parental rights for Ava. Despite being her biological mother and being my wife, the state only recognises me as her parent. In fact the state would technically consider me a single parent. Absolute madness. For more about all of this, I talk about it on my blog. Link in my profile @ranaevonmeding 

Chat again later, 

Ranae x

Third Post:

Just finished up at @motherofpodcast and we spoke quite a lot about my 10 year struggle with an ED.

It began when I was 16. It was quite innocent. I’d dropped a lot of weight when I was doing a show in school. I was getting tons of compliments and before I knew it I was in the total grips of bulimia and anorexia. Because I was binging and purging, I dropped to a very low weight but not as low as I would have if I was purely anorexic. This meant that for years I was able to fool those around me that I was fine. This continued on an off into my 20’s and at some points I would get a handle on things and go through periods where I thought I was ok. When I met my wife, I told her about my history, but I was actually in a really good place at that point and not really engaging in ED behaviour. However about 3 years later, there was a major trauma in the family and I found myself very quickly back to square one. Though this time is was back with a vengeance and worse than ever. I spent a couple of years denying it, lying to everyone around me, totally consumed by my disorder and my addiction. Because that’s the way I really see any ED. It’s an addiction. I will never know how Audrey stuck by me through all of that, because it must have been hell on Earth to watch the one you love slowly killing themselves.

Throughout all of this my sister-in-law @robertaruthvm of @mumsandtots was there. I remember when she had her first baby, Juliet, and I would babysit a lot. I absolutely adored her (still do) and at some point it really hit home that I would never be a mother until I sorted myself out. There was no way I would bring a child into that situation. When she was about 1 and a half I was at my worst, and I remember at some stage just thinking enough. I don’t want her growing up and seeing this sickness in me. I want her to know I am strong and so is she.

I talked to Audrey and said I was ready for help. Went to my GP and was referred for CBT. It was the best thing I ever did. A few years of therapy helped me to understand how I was using my ED as a way of controlling a life that I felt was out of control. Ranae x

Fourth Post:

This little girl made me a mama. Before her, I never knew how deeply and selflessly you could love another person. The love you feel for a child is unlike anything else. There is no ego, no agenda, no selfish reasons for loving them. You would literally die for them if it would save them even a moments pain.

That’s not to say it not really fecking hard. Because it is. It’s an absolute rollercoaster to parent a child of any age. They drive you to the point of madness and just when you think you can’t take anymore, they smile at you or call you ‘mama’ or snuggle their sweaty little head right into the crook of your neck. There are a lot of ups and equally a lot of downs.

Remember that what people post is usually the top 5% of their lives. The happy snapshots. Don’t get sucked into the hole of comparison. It will get you nowhere. We all have it tough at times and we all have individual struggles both in our personal and parenting lives.

Be kind to each other mamas. And be kind to yourself. 

Ranae @ranaevonmeding

Fifth Post:

So that’s me finished for the day. I’m tucked up in bed with the latest issue of @mumsandtots, #recipesforanervousbreakdown by @sophie_white__ and a cuppa. I absolutely adore reading in bed.

I’ve really enjoyed getting to share a little bit with you all about my journey to becoming a mama. We all have our own stories and each one is worth hearing. If you’re a new parent, try to connect with like minded people. Find your tribe. Parenting can be the absolute loneliest place in the world. Especially in the first few weeks and months, when you’re shell shocked and suddenly in charge of this tiny human. I can’t tell you how much it’s meant to me to find other parents who I can hang out with. Knowing that you aren’t the only one struggling makes things a hell of a lot easier. Playgroups, WhatsApp chats, Facebook forums. Whatever it is that you’re into, just find your people.

If you’ve enjoyed meeting me today, I’d love for you to continue following my adventures in parenting. I’m at @ranaevonmeding or if you’re into FB you’ll find me over there at Ranae von Meding. My website and blog is

Much love and thanks for listening. 

Ranae x


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